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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 04, 1981


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    Report on leftist groups under attack by the central clerical leadership of Iran and particularly the Tudeh Party.
    "Information about the Activity of Leftist Organizations in Iran ," May 04, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, MfS, HVA, Nr. 6. Obtained by Roham Alvandi.
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[Letterhead: Ministry for State Security]

Strictly Secret
Return requested

Berlin, the 4th of May, 1981


5 pages

6th Copy

No. 198/81



the activity of leftist organizations in Iran

The following information concerns the strategy and tactics of leftist groups in Iran, their activities, and the differences of opinion among them based on internal estimates.

Leftist forces, which were actively involved in the fall of the Shah, have been forced into the opposition with the establishment of the central power structure of clerical civilian forces. They are attacked by the ruling circles with religious hysteria and anti-communist fervor. The main forces of the leftist movement in Iran are the Tudeh Party, the Fedayin-e-chalk, and the Mujahadin-e-chalk. The "Organization of Fighting Muslims" under Habiholla Peyman is showing increasingly leftist tendencies. There are also a number of pseudo-leftist, leftist extremist, and Maoist organizations.

The main goal of the Tudeh Party in the current phase of the struggle is the creation of a unified people's front on an anti-imperialist and democratic basis. As a most important premise for the attainment of this goal and ensuring favorable legal fighting conditions, the Party holds firmly onto support of Khomeini and the clerical regime against all attempts by imperialism and inner reaction to weaken the anti-imperalist thrust of the Iranian revolution.

The Party currently commands more than 30,000 members and sympathists. Their main influence is in Tehran, Abadan, the area around Gilan, Masanderon (on the Caspian Sea), and Kurdistan. In Azerbaijan the Party has not yet been able to re-capture the positions it attained earlier. Close collaboration with the majority faction of Fedayin-e-chalk has had a positive effect on the capabilities of the Tudeh Party.

The Party has individual representatives in the state apparatus and in some of the organizations (e.g. the Mustazafin Institute) that have been formed since the revolution. An expression of the increased effect of the Party among the working class is the election of a number of Party Members in union functions. Intelligence work, particularly in Tehran, is conducted through the "Democratic People's Union of Iran." The Party publishes a number of publications, the most well-known of which is the main organ "Mardom," which until recently was able to be published regularly.

Despite a certain success in work among the masses it is difficult for the party to gain support from a broad section of the public, in view of the anti-communist fervor and the accusation of having been passive under the Shah's regime. The tense relations between the Tudeh Party and Mujahadin-e-chalk has a negative effect in this regard, particularly among the youth. The recent attempts by forces supporting the regime to discredit the Tudeh Party and link them with leftist extremist forces remain until now without success. In view of the constant attacks on the Party, it is geared toward half-legal and illegal forms of fighting.

The so-called majority faction of the Fedayin-e-chalk, which was formed in 1980 because of differences over the further strategy and tact of the until-then unified organization, was able to further consolidate with the minority faction over Ashraf Daghani. It recognized that armed struggle against the Khomeini regime has no broad support among the populace. The majority faction, which advocates close collaboration with the Tudeh Party, has the goal of strengthening the anti-imperialist potential of the current regime and broadening the basis of the Organization among the working class. Both of these points are also meant to be the main content areas of the First Party Congress.